Former West Ham captain Steve Lomas revealed he was disappointed to hear that Marko Arnautovic was looking to leave the London Stadium.
The 45-year-old, who played 227 times for the Hammers during his playing career, was asked for his thoughts on Sky Sports reporting that the Hammers forward had told the club he was determined to leave this summer.
“Yeah well it’s disappointing when he didn’t get the move around Christmas time, his form dipped, his head seemed back in it in the last three or four games and when he is playing well, the team is playing well,” said Lomas during an interview on Ian Abraham’s Instagram page.
“He is a big focal point for us and for him to be looking to move it’s extremely disappointing when you look at Big Andy not renewing his contract, we possibly need two or three new centre-forwards.
Abrahams then asked Lomas whether he really thought Arnautovic was in it for the long-haul at the London Stadium, when you consider the 30-year-old signed a contract extension in January to reiterate his commitment.
“Well I think, listen…I can see it from both sides being a manager myself and a player,” stated Lomas.
“From the club and supporter point of view, I’m disappointed if he is going because when he does play, he is a big part of when we look a good team and I think with Lanzini coming back, y’know, it would be a nice little foil to see them link up.
“But from a player’s point of view, he is 29 now so is probably looking for one final big pay but he isn’t on bad money as it is, so erm it’s just disappointing, disappointing for West Ham fans as we sorta had forgiven him after his misdemeanour and didn’t really turn against him so…”
Lomas tried to play devil’s advocate by not hanging Arnautovic out to dry by saying he understands him, but then instantly backtracks as he knows that opinion will not go down well amongst Hammers supporters. The former Hammers midfielder shares he gets why a player of Arnautovic’s age, he’s 30-years-old, would want to move as it could be his best chance of getting one last big payday before hanging up his boots. However, Lomas then quickly remembers that the forward isn’t on peanuts at the London Stadium as he rakes in £100,000-a-week (Source: Spotrac), so doesn’t really need to leave in order to get a wad load of cash. Arnautovic is an integral part on Manuel Pellegrini’s team as he is their main source of goals as it stands. The 30-year-old finished top of the Hammers’ scoring charts in his 2018/19 campaign as he scored 11 goals in 30 outings, averaging a goal every 184 minutes (Source: BBC). It says a lot that Felipe Anderson was the Hammers’ second highest scorer in their latest campaign with 10, but the Brazilian only averaged a goal every 311 minutes. So if there’s a chance he can be convinced to stay and give 100%, then it is worth it, but that does seem like a huge task.